I currently have a vintage 12” craftsman BS (circa (1970). I’ve had it for about six months now. I bought it via craigslist for next to nothing. I had almost no experience with bandsaws at the time, and thought this dinosaur would be good to learn the ropes with. I also didn’t want to shell out big coin on a newer model “A”, only to find out that I really needed/wanted model “B”. Heck, for all I knew, I wouldn’t use the thing at all. I figured I’d spend some time with this old beater until I had a clue.
Well, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that the BS is my favorite machine to work with, and I’m convinced money spent on a more capable machine would be well spent. My current sears BS is usuable, but it has a really small table, limited cutting height (4”), and a weak 3/4hp (supposedly) aftermarket motor. I’m thinking I’ll replace it with some sort of 14” Taiwanese machine. Probably something I find on CL.
One thing I dislike abuout the BS is changing blades. Compared to other machines, changing a BS blade is a painful process. So I’m considering having one BS for for larger jobs such as resawing, and another for pattern cutting and other small, crafty stuff. That way, I can keep a 3/8-1/2 blade on the large machine, and a 1/8-1/4 blade on the small one. I don’t have enough room in my tiny shop to maintain two floor standing machines, otherwise I’d keep the sears BS for the small jobs. So I’m thinking about some sort of 9”-10” benchtop model that I can stash/grab when needed. So with all that said:
Are the benctop models even worth having?
Any particular model I should consider or avoid?